Author: David Nicholls
Published: April 14, 2004
Paperback: 437 pages
Source: purchased on borders.com
My Rating: 4 stars
Synopsis (from goodreads.com): It's 1988 and Dexter Mayhew and Emma Morley have only just met. They both know that the next day, after college graduation, they must go their separate ways. But after only one day together, they cannot stop thinking about one another. As the years go by, Dex and Em begin to lead separate lives—lives very different from the people they once dreamed they'd become. And yet, unable to let go of that special something that grabbed onto them that first night, an extraordinary relationship develops between the two. Over twenty years, snapshots of that relationship are revealed on the same day—July 15th—of each year. Dex and Em face squabbles and fights, hopes and missed opportunities, laughter and tears. And as the true meaning of this one crucial day is revealed, they must come to grips with the nature of love and life itself.
My Thoughts: The premise of the book really appealed to me. Seeing two people on the same day every year, seeing where they are in life and where they are in each other's lives. It sounded like it would be an interesting book to read. Tracing Dexter and Emma's journeys from their college graduation until they are in their 40s, David Nicholls writes a beautiful story of growing up, maturing, relationships, jobs, and the difficulties of life during these years. Nicholls writing is very smooth and I never felt as if too much time had passed. His writing is very fluid and you don't miss a beat between each year.
The characters are very well written, too. Dexter comes from a wealthy family where he doesn't have to worry about finding a job after graduation. He takes his time trying to decide what he should do with his life. And while it would be easy to hate Dexter, I didn't. I could definitely relate to his struggle to figure out what he wanted to do with his life. Emma is wonderful character and there were so many points in the book where I felt like I was reading about myself. Now, I don't work in a Mexican restaurant, but I related perfectly to her. Her struggle to find a job that works for her, and when working at a job, knowing that this isn't what she wants to do with her life. I was rooting for her throughout the book, and seeing how her story turned out definitely gives me hope for my own life.
The ending to the book was also well-written and surprising. I won't give anything away, but it's something that you just have to read for yourself. If you are looking for a book to read before the summer is over, I would highly recommend this book. It's the perfect summer read; a little romance, a little hilarity, and a few lessons along the way.